By CODY WORSHAM
Tiger Rag Editor
The first weekend of home SEC play always has LSU’s campus abuzz.
Don’t think the Tigers’ basketball staff isn’t well aware.
Johnny Jones and the LSU basketball team will host a pair of key 2017 prospects for official visits on campus this weekend in G/F Brandon Rachal and PF/C Galin Smith.
Rachal, a 6-foot-6 combo guard from Nachitoches Central, is the No. 72 prospect in the country, according to 247Sports, and ranks as the nation’s No. 4 combo guard and the No. 2 player in Louisiana behind current LSU commit Galen Alexander.
The 6-foot-6, 220 pound four-star prospect led his high school team to the 5A state title, averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds to net first-team All-State honors in 2015-16. On the spring circuit, he averaged 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds playing for EP Elite on the EYBL tour.
In the 5A final against Scotlandville, a 54-52 NCHS win, Rachal scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to win the title — his school’s second in three years — and earn tournament MVP honors.
Texas and Texas A&M are also in for Rachal.
Smith, a late-blooming, high-rising big man from Clinton, Miss., is a 6-foot-10, athletic big who fits the mold of what Jones looks for in a big man: athletic, runs the floor, and protects the rim. Smith didn’t start playing basketball until he was 14, but is so physically gifted that his high school had to buy new rims — after he shattered one with a thunderous dunk. He’s the No. 2 player in the state of Mississippi for the 2017 class, according to HoopSeen.com, which called him “one of the biggest stock risers of the summer.”
Smith has visited Tulane and UAB in past weeks and had an in-home with Alabama this week. He’ll spend next weekend in Tuscaloosa visiting the Tide. Smith is a high school classmate with LSU running back target Cam Akers and averaged 21.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game to earn all-state honors for the Clinton High Arrows.